Thank you again, Richard

Richard Armitage’s annual Christmas message just appeared at RichardArmitageOnline.

19 December 2013

Hi everyone,

Well I just wanted to come on line and wish everyone a Happy Christmas (Turkey Day or Holiday, depending on your preference) it’s been another wonderful year, which has been full of hard work, fun and surprises. Thank you for your continuing support of my work, I hope you never underestimate what that means to me personally. Seeing so many at the LA premier (sorry about the un fan-friendly red carpet) Berlin, London, Madrid is really the highlight of the year. I am very proud to have such a dedicated community of ‘well wishers’ (better word than fans…right?) Proud because of the dignity and decency with which you communicate with each other and document your ideas. It’s always illuminated with positivity and support for each other, unlikely friendships forged through a common interest. That makes me proud, and brings me to my real reason for the message. To say a huge thank you to Annette Gill, who has worked so hard on her web pages, doing exactly what I just described in a very elegant way. I think she is truly a wonderful journalist and archivist and I would like to thank her personally for all the time she spent creating and updating the site.

I wanted to wish you love and happiness for 2014, thank you for the generous gifts and the donations to the ‘Just Giving’ pages I think our totals are looking very healthy.

Without getting into a pulpit or onto soap box, (cynics tune out now!) I want to say that for me especially as I get older, this time of year becomes more about making the journey to be with family or friends and sitting around a table which hopefully has some good food on it, however bountiful that is. But for those who don’t have very much or are alone, I wish them at least a sense of peace for a day. I know that I am happiest when I can be useful, which usually involves giving time and effort towards something. That gives me peace. (Guess who’s making the gravy this year!!)

This quote isn’t meant to be maudlin, because I actually find it uplifting, but it expresses what I mean. It’s Sonya from Chekhov’s Uncle Vanya.

What can we do? We must live out our lives….we shall live, Uncle Vanya. We shall live all through the endless procession of days ahead of us, and through the long evenings. We shall bear patiently the burdens that fate imposes on us. We shall work without rest for others, both now and when we are old. And when our final hour comes, we shall meet it humbly…. we shall enter on a bright and beautiful life. We shall rejoice… A tender smile — and — we shall rest. We shall hear the angels. We shall see heaven shining like a jewel. We shall see evil and all our pain disappear in the great pity that shall enfold the world. Our life will be as peaceful and gentle and sweet as a caress. I have faith…we shall rest.

fumblingly sent from my iPad

Interesting message, and one that is so appropriate for me to hear today. And how I pictured Richard as I read the note:

RAatBookofNZ-creditHeatherVideos

Dear Richard,

I hate to admit I’m always surprised you still give messages to the fans. That is not meant as a slur on your character but rather an acknowledgment that you’re a busy man.

So thank you for the message and especially one that seeks to give great comfort, and for this person does give comfort.

Many blessings to you and yours,
A well wisher :)

Yes, I’m still putting the fake fan letter tag on these ’cause I don’t have a better tag at the moment. I’ll have to think of one for the future.

Candid photo courtesy of Heather Siemon

“Merry Christmas”

Last night I went to a Christmas Eve service at the church house, and it was one of the best I’ve ever attended. It wasn’t that there was beautiful pomp to embrace. There was no pomp. It was people coming through the doors as themselves and feeling they were meeting friends because they were! Oh, it was a motley crew to be sure, but all the more special because of it. God doesn’t make cookie cutters.

When I was a kid, I had visions of church being like this and especially a place where the brokenhearted could come and know there was peace, joy and love because God was there. I saw it last night in a way that made even my dreams pale.

All of this has me wondering once again what others think about the phrase “Merry Christmas.” Of course it can mean the fun of the holiday, or the kindness that’s often shown in lavish amounts more than the rest of the year, or it’s an amenity. But too often it’s associated with something stilted and dare I say, religious. I heard Richard Armitage say he’s not religious. I’m not either, and I mean that in the sense I rarely feel compelled to observe rituals in my relationship with the Lord. His magnificence is simply there and He’s not going away. Hallelujah! It makes me want to share it and say Merry Christmas everyday!

If you have trouble watching this video from my site, click on the YouTube icon in the lower right corner to watch it on YT.

NOTE: for some reason unknown to me, the singer of this song followed me on Twitter this week. Maybe she’s a Richard Armitage fan. Whatever the case, I chuckled when I saw her twitter come up. Maybe she’ll figure out what a crazy place this is and quit following me (may have already), but I’m glad she’s done it long enough to remind me of the greatest gift I’ve received or ever will.